CHART DESIGN 2018

 

 

This is the sixth ‘edition’ of CHART but, for the first time, there is also a CHART Design Fair at the gallery of Den Frie on Oslo Plads in Østerport where twelve galleries from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are showing furniture and contemporary glass and ceramics.

In the basement gallery at Den Frie is an installation by benandsebastian entitled Department of Voids … a space in two halves divided by a glass wall with the two parts mirrored … one with empty museum storage cases and the answering part beyond the glass with the objects reimagined and in glass.

Den Frie

benandsebastian

3daysofdesign

 

 

3daysofdesign in Copenhagen is now a massive event where design companies, design stores and many of the manufacturers open their doors to show what the city does in the world of design. It's an opportunity to launch new designs or new versions of classic designs or to launch new companies or celebrate significant anniversaries.

There are events at Designmuseum Danmark and at other galleries and museums through the city and workshops and demonstrations are common but it is also a major chance for designers and makers and companies to socialise … it comes after the pressure of the big furniture fairs of Stockholm and Milan and really is a key point on the calendar to mark the start of summer.

This year there were some 90 venues across the whole city and even a cyclists, powering around the streets, would be hard-pressed to get to everything at the right time in the right sequence.

So the following posts are not the highlights but my highlights from the three days.

3 days of design 2018

 

3daysofdesign - the big annual design event in Copenhagen - begins on 24th May

The programme is now available on the event site ... with so many companies and studios and manufacturers opening their doors and with exhibitions in so many different venues - including embassies - then it is well worth planning your route ahead and using the transport set up for the three days

Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik at Pakhus for 3daysofdesign

 

Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik have offices and display space out at Pakhus 48 in Nordhavn where they are in one of the huge former warehouses along with Vola, the tap and bathroom fittings company, and with Kvadrat, the Danish textile company. Joint events here on the first evening of the three days are a very popular high point.

 
 

Not only is this a good opportunity to see the furniture from Jørgensen in the generous space and in the natural light of the warehouse but for 3daysofdesign - they had rebuilt Portal ..... an installation designed for the Milan furniture fair in the Spring by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta, working with Jørgensen.

An oak ladder covered in leather appears to be standing free between two round mirrors to create an infinite sequence of images but this is not simply a visual game because it also demonstrates the craftsmanship of fine leatherwork from Jørgensen.

 
 

 

Pakhus 48 has large windows that look south down the harbour so the space has bright natural light - particularly in the afternoon - with strong shadows and very strong patches of light across the floor and with light reflected up that comes up off the water so it can be dramatic anyway, even without mirrors and with a lot of people around for the opening and a fair bit of wine the whole thing was a bit disconcerting.

Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik

Snøhetta

 

 
 

Smaller Objects at the Swedish Embassy

 

Many of the pieces in the Smaller Objects collection have been designed by the Swedish architecture and design studio of Claesson Koivisto Rune but there is also a Swedish stoneware bowl, some glass from Italy and objects designed and made in Japan.

What unites all the objects is not just the very high quality of the materials used but the pieces have that hall-mark of design at the highest level in that form, function and material are balanced. In fact, it is that balance of form, function and material that makes these objects minimal in the most obvious sense … in that you realise as you look at and then you hold the objects, it would be very very difficult to add anything more or take anything away without destroying that balance. These objects are refined - not in the sense of being polite and cultivated - though they are that too - but in the sense that the design has been refined or reduced down to that point where it looks and feels right. Good minimal design is about reduction … not about going straight for the basic.

These objects also demonstrate that incredibly important aim for the best design when actually you realise that although the piece appears, at first, to be primarily about appearance and style … what, in fact, is crucial is the obvious and careful consideration of how the pieces function to make even an everyday task more enjoyable. 

The Japanese notebook is a good example where you realise that here is something that not only is beautifully made - with the experience that comes through a manufacturer who has long-established craft skills - but how someone uses a notebook has been carefully reconsidered so that even turning back a pre-cut tab to mark a place becomes a simple pleasure. That probably sounds precious or pretentious but one clear reason for - maybe the justification for - designing something that is better - or is more beautiful or is better made in beautiful materials - is that the finished object should enhance life every day when doing everyday things.

Smaller Objects.com

 
 

editor's note:

the images are set to scroll through automatically but holding the cursor over an image should halt the change to the next image and should reveal information about the object

Hay for 3daysofdesign

 

For 3daysofdesign, the design company Hay have taken over Lindencrones Palæ on Sankt Annæ Plads (Lindencrone’s Palace on Saint Anne’s Square). So going to this event was an opportunity to look around a pretty amazing building but for Hay it gave them dramatic settings for their furniture, lighting and kitchen and tableware. One large room had the Result Chair and Pyramid Table … maybe a first for a display designer or stylist to have so much space that they could stack so many tables so high.

Just in terms of general design principles, the show highlighted again an important aspect of Danish interiors … that in many Danish homes furniture and fittings of very different periods and styles are deliberately mixed together … so starkly modern lighting or steel and glass furniture in an old apartment that has panelling or ornate plasterwork and sash windows - though perhaps not often on the scale of this Palæ. 

Or in a starkly modern home you will find either a carefully-chosen chair from the classic period of Danish design in the 1950s and 60s or old and much-loved pieces of furniture that have been inherited.

One general but simple lesson here in the Hay display was that choosing tableware and so on carefully and then using multiples but leaving it all out as open storage on display can look pretty good.

For Hay, the building also provided an impressive setting for showing off, with pride, their latest products and for welcoming and entertaining visitors who could sit in the calm and quiet of an old entrance passage used as a temporary cafe or people could have a coffee out in the sun of the courtyard that has been fitted out with Hay’s Palissade furniture. 

Hay

 

3daysofdesign

 

3daysofdesign started today and - along with all the tourists in the city at this time of year - you can spot a lot of people clasping this little book and walking purposefully from studio, to gallery to showroom.

Most have that mastery of dressing stylishly while trying to make it look effortless … the oh-this … just something I found when I was in Japan since I saw you last in Milan look. Grossly unfair that I point that out and only said because it all makes me feel hopelessly scruffy and hopelessly inefficient. 

I actually live here and end up standing in the middle of the pavement looking backwards and forwards along the street trying to make up my mind which way to go to waste least time.

The little blue guide can be found on stands outside each venue and inside the studios and stores and is actually a brilliant who-is-where guide to design in the city even if you can’t get to Copenhagen for 3daysofdesign.

3daysofdesign